When Economic Moralism Clashes with Reality

With the November 26 publication of Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, we have the first teaching document that is truly his own. And it very much shows, both in style and content, compared to the encyclical Lumen Fidei, which was mostly written by Pope Benedict XVI. Continue Reading...

Pope Francis On Poverty Warrants Scrutiny: Samuel Gregg

Pope Francis has released his first apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel). An apostolic exhortation …is published to encourage the faithful to live in a particular manner or to do something, e.g., post synodal documents offered to the church in summary of a previous synod and hoping the faithful will do something helpful for the life of the church… Continue Reading...

The Economics of Sainthood

Want to be canonized as a saint? Then you should probably move to Italy: 46.7 percent of saints lived in that country at the time of their deaths. That is just one of the many interesting tidbits to be gleaned from a 2010 paper by Barro, McCleary, and McQuoid titled, The Economics of Sainthood (a preliminary investigation): Saint-making has been a major activity of the Catholic Church for centuries. Continue Reading...

BBC: Should Religious Leaders Live a Modest Life?

Image Credit: BBC I had the opportunity today to take part in a discussion on the BBC program World Have Your Say, discussing the recent suspension by the Vatican of the Bishop of Limbu, Germany, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van-Elst, known in the German press as the “bishop of bling.” He is under investigation regarding expenditures of 31 million euros (roughly $41 million) for the renovation of the historic building that served, in part, as his residence. Continue Reading...